Taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands. (TVBS via AP)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in a quarter century rocked the island during the morning rush Wednesday, damaging buildings and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, and the tsunami threat largely passed about two hours later.

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on Japanese islands. (TVBS via AP)

A five-story building in the lightly populated southeastern coastal city of Hualien near the epicenter appeared heavily damaged, collapsing its first floor and leaving the rest leaning at a 45-degree angle. In the capital, tiles fell from older buildings and within some newer office complexes, while debris fell from some building sites. Schools evacuated their students to sports fields, equipping them with yellow safety helmets. Some also covered themselves with textbooks to guard against falling objects as aftershocks continued.

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, residents rescue a child from a partially collapsed building in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands. (TVBS via AP)

Train service was suspended across the island of 23 million people, as was subway service in Taipei, where a newly constructed above-ground line partially separated. The national legislature, a converted school built before World War II, also had damage to walls and ceilings.

Traffic along the east coast was at a virtual standstill, with landslides and falling debris hitting tunnels and highways in the mountainous region. Those caused damage to vehicles, though it wasn’t clear if anyone was hurt.

Despite the quake striking at the height of the morning rush hour just before 8 a.m., the initial panic faded quickly on the island that is regularly rocked by temblors and prepares for them with drills at schools and notices issued via public media and mobile phone.

Still, the earthquake was strong enough to scare people who are used to such shaking.

“Earthquakes are a common occurrence, and I’ve grown accustomed to them. But today was the first time I was scared to tears by an earthquake,” Taipei resident Hsien-hsuen Keng said. ”I was awakened by the earthquake. I had never felt such intense shaking before.”

She said her fifth-floor apartment shook so hard that “apart from earthquake drills in elementary school, this was the first time I had experienced such a situation.”

There was still no word on casualties from the epicenter near the city of Hualien, where a deadly quake in 2018 collapsed a historic hotel and other buildings. Taiwan’s worst quake in recent years struck on Sept. 21, 1999, with a magnitude of 7.7, causing 2,400 deaths, injuring around 100,000 and destroying thousands of buildings.

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

Japan Earthquake

The Japan Meteorological Agency said a tsunami wave of 30 centimeters (about 1 feet) was detected on the coast of Yonaguni island about 15 minutes after the quake struck. Smaller waves were measured in Ishigaki and Miyako islands. Japan sent military aircraft to gather information about the impact around the Okinawa region.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency gave the magnitude as 7.2 while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.4. It struck about 18 kilometers south-southwest of Hualien and was about 35 kilometers (21 miles) deep. Multiple aftershocks followed, and the USGS said one of the subsequent quakes was 6.5 magnitude and 11.8 kilometers (7 miles) deep. Shallower quakes tend to cause more surface damage.

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a man checks a partially collapsed building in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands.(TVBS via AP)

The earthquake was felt in Shanghai and several provinces along China’s southeastern coast, according to Chinese media. China and Taiwan are about 160 kilometers (100 miles) apart. China issued no tsunami warnings for the Chinese mainland.

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

People evacuate to higher ground after a tsunami warning following a powerful earthquake in Naha, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands.(Kyodo News via AP)

Residents of China’s Fujian province reported violent shaking, according to Jimu News, an online outlet. One man told Jimu that the shaking awakened him and lasted about a minute.

In the Philippines, residents along the northern coast were told to evacuate to higher ground, but no major tsunami was reported about three hours after the quake.

Villagers in the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Isabela were asked not to return to their homes until the tsunami alert was lifted, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Teresito Bacolcol said.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said there has been no report of injury or damage in Japan. He urged the residents in the Okinawa region to stay on high ground until all tsunami advisories are lifted. He cautioned the people against disinformation and urged to stay calm and assist others.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat to Hawaii or the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. About three hours after the earthquake, it said the threat had largely passed for all areas with waves being reported only in Taiwan and southern Japan.

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a woman stands near a partially collapsed building in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on Japanese islands. (TVBS via AP)

Taiwan lies along the Pacific ”“Ring of Fire,” the line of seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquake’s occur.

___

Associated Press journalists Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, Ken Moritsugu in Beijing, Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, Lorian Belanger in Bangkok. Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu, and Simina Mistreanu in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

People walk along a sidewalk by a TV showing a breaking news on tsunami for Okinawa region and Earthquake damage in Taiwan Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Tokyo. Japan issued tsunami alerts Wednesday after a strong quakes near Taiwan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands.(TVBS via AP)

taiwan's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years damages buildings and causes a small tsunami

In this image taken from a video footage run by TVBS, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands.(TVBS via AP)

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Lawsuit seeks $16 million against Maryland county over death of pet dog shot by police

A department investigator accused two of the officers of “conduct unbecoming an officer” for entering the apartment without a warrant, but the third officer was cleared of wrongdoing, the suit says. Read more »

Heidi Klum shares rare photo of all 4 of her and Seal's kids

Heidi Klum posted a rare picture with husband Tom Kaulitz and her four kids: Leni, 19, Henry, 18, Johan, 17, and Lou, 14, having some quality family time. Read more »

European stocks head for flat open as markets struggle to find momentum

This is CNBC’s live blog covering European markets. European markets are heading for a flat open Tuesday, continuing lackluster sentiment seen at the start of the week in the region ... Read more »

Linda C. Black Horoscopes: November 28

Nancy Black Today’s Birthday (11/28/23). This year energizes your work and health. Faithful domestic routines provide central support. Shift directions to balance your work and health, before adapting around team ... Read more »

Michigan Democrats poised to test ambitious environmental goals in the industrial Midwest

FILE – One of more than 4,000 solar panels constructed by DTE Energy lines a 9.37-acre swath of land in Ann Arbor Township, Mich., Sept. 15, 2015. Michigan will join ... Read more »

Gaza Is Falling Into ‘Absolute Chaos,’ Aid Groups Say

A shaky cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has allowed a surge of aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza, but humanitarian groups and civilians in the enclave say the convoys aren’t ... Read more »

Bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families to march together in anti-hate vigil

Demonstrators march against the rise of antisemitism in the UK on Sunday – SUSANNAH IRELAND/REUTERS Bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families will march together as part of an anti-hate vigil on ... Read more »
Top List in the World